Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chapter 11: Her Side, Part 1.

There is never just one story of a relationship.  Because there are two people involved, there are always two stories, two versions of every event.  My relationship with Greg is no different.  There is his story of us as a couple, and there is mine.  Which is true?  The honest answer is neither.  And both.  The truth about us really lies somewhere in between.  The best I can do is tell you what is true for me.

I had known Greg for most of my life without ever officially meeting him.  Small town schools are like that—you could name every kid walking down the hallway and probably point out their relatives, but you’d probably only spoken to 40% of them.  The story of how we eventually did meet can be found in Chapter 6 of this blog.  As cheesy and clich√© as I know it sounds, that afternoon at the lake is one of the defining points of my life.

It didn’t take long for us to become best friends.  We started doing everything together.  If I wanted to go out and do something, I called Greg.  If I wanted to stay in and do nothing, I called Greg.  We were always together.  We had stupid inside jokes and dozens of “Lee and Greg” stories.  We talked about everything under the sun. He was my person, and things were perfect.

Until he started dating my cousin.  Suddenly, he was busy when I called.  He stopped spending every afternoon at my house so that he could be with her.  Whenever we did hang out, he brought her along.  We stopped talking about our lives and started talking exclusively about Greg and Haylee (that’s her fake name, right?).  It was fine, at first.  I’m a good friend and decent cousin, and I was happy that two people I genuinely cared about were so happy together.

But it got old fast.  I started to really miss my best friend.  I got sick of always waiting around for him to show up.  I got sick of always talking about her.  I got sick of always, always having her around.   Because Haylee was too young and too Mormon to officially date, Greg and I went to prom together my junior year of high school.  And Haylee crashed our date.  She’s my cousin and I love her, but to this day that is the most I have ever wanted to punch someone in the face.

It took me a long time to figure out why I was acting like such a crazy, jealous bitch.  As Greg’s best friend, I should have been happy that he was so happy.  I should have been nice to his girlfriend, especially since she was someone I already loved.  I should have been much less selfish. The fact that I wasn’t, and that I couldn’t remove myself from the equation, meant that I was not just Greg’s best friend.  I had fallen for him, accidentally and without really noticing it.  But once it happened, I couldn’t take it back.

It took a long time for anything to come of it.  He dated Haylee off and on for almost a year (and spent a lot of time kissing me off and on in between.  What can I say?  We’re no angels.) while I waited impatiently for him to move on.  Though it seemed like forever to impatient 17-year-old me, he finally, FINALLY did.  You can find most of that story in Chapter 6: Part 2.

I have never been the kind of girl to wait around for a man.  Either they wanted me or they didn’t, and there was no time for second-guessing or second chances.  I’m impatient to my very core, and when I want something, I want it right now.  Greg was the first and only exception to that steadfast personal policy.  And he was worth waiting for.

I knew from the beginning that I was in too deep, especially because he was my cousin’s ex-boyfriend and that put us on shaky moral ground right from the start.  But I didn’t realize just how hard I had fallen until a random evening in February.  This story can also be found in Chapter 6: Part 2, but you should hear some of it from my perspective.

By this point, Greg and I had spent the last two years of our lives together.  I knew him really well.  I knew his pet peeves and his little quirks.  I knew what made him laugh and what made him angry.  I knew all his favorite songs.  I knew what he was like as a kid.  I knew what all of his facial expressions meant.  I could tell from the sound of his voice how he was feeling.  I really knew him.
 
But sitting there on his living room floor that night, looking up at him while he played Matchbox 20 on the guitar, everything changed.  His face went from being old and familiar to completely new and different.  Everything was the same, and it wasn’t.  It was like the world shifted, and I could really see him for the very first time.  I was thinking “I love him” before I even realized what had happened.  I’m sure I smiled like a fool. 

I don’t know if it’s unusual to be able to pinpoint the exact moment you fell in love with someone, but that was the moment for me.  I wanted to laugh and cry and throw myself in his arms and run away as fast as I could.  It was wonderful and terrifying, and I was in a total panic until he finished the song and looked up at me and smiled.  And I knew I’d stay right there forever if he’d keep smiling at me that way.

The next two years were very nearly perfect.  We had been acting like a couple all along, so there wasn’t any adjusting to the relationship.  We were comfortable together, and we were madly, passionately in love.  Of course, we fought sometimes, and our fights were downright awful.  Greg and I never did anything halfway.  When things were good, they were really, really good.  And when they were bad, they were horrid.  But they weren’t bad very often.  We were happy.  We were young and in love.  We had our whole lives ahead of us, and we knew we’d be spending our lives together.

Greg left for the MTC on December 5, 2007.  We’d known his mission was looming in the future since we first started dating.  We had known exactly when he’d be leaving for the last three months.  But I don’t think I really understood that he was going until I was sitting alone in my car in the stake center parking lot, watching him drive away.

I had come to see him set apart as a missionary, but in retrospect, I really wish I hadn’t.  I had known that once he was set apart, I wouldn’t be able to touch him.  I couldn’t hug him.  I couldn’t kiss him.  We couldn’t hold hands.  I had known it, and I thought that I could live with it.  We kissed once, briefly, before we went inside.  It had been awkward and rushed because his parents and siblings and the Stake Presidency were watching.  We walked out together afterward, not touching.  He walked me to my car.  We stared at each other without saying anything.  Then he told me he loved me, and he shook my hand.

I remember thinking, “This is it.  This is the worst feeling in the world.  Nothing will ever hurt me more than this.”

I was wrong.




Part 2 Will be posted as soon as the page views reaches 1100.  It's pretty close. So keep reading!

Also, You may or may not hate me after reading part two. Every time I read it or think back on it, I want to go back in time and punch myself in the face. 

At any rate, I'll understand. 


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